Monday, October 18, 2010

She Won't Take a Hint -- Need Advice

I was getting ready to post about the status of any communications between NM and me from this past May (after she called out of the blue asking for the kids to visit her after 5 months of NC) to present, but I have rec’d an email from NM today so I am going to jump to the present, as I need some advice.

NM had emailed me in July to ask if she and her “fiancée” (they have been together for many years) could visit for a certain weekend in August but I said no because that was right before back to school.  I should have addressed with her then that it is appalling that she keeps trying to pick up without acknowledging what I wrote to her last Nov.  She then emailed me in August suggesting we get together in my area for her b-day weekend or a later weekend of my Youngest’s b-day.  I ignored that email.  Since she didn’t acknowledge my b-day in May I thought that was pretty nervy (and humorous actually) that she would suggest we get together for hers.  At this time she is in her summer home which is about 3 hours away from me.  It was interesting that she is no longer asking for the kids to visit her, but to instead come to me.  Except that I cannot even now stomach the thought of her being in my house.

I asked my youngest child about her visiting that weekend.  He said no way, he was planning a sleepover and didn’t want her there with all his friends there (I wasn't considering it but I was open with him that she was inquiring).  As his b-day got closer she emailed me again and I did respond that he was having a sleepover so that weekend wouldn’t work.  She wrote back mad saying, “You knew we were planning that weekend.”  Turns out she only wants to visit when her fiancée can have off of work every few weeks so he can drive and also be her moral support (she now hates driving).

That was news to me that we were actually planning something.  And Readers, she has no concept of what my weekends/week/life is like with three kids, enrolled in 4 sport teams, activities, etc.  In between a Fri night and a Sat a.m. and p.m., DH and I are tag teaming to get it all done, around town, not to mention the food shopping, meal making, etc., etc. on the weekend since I am at work during the day (and she is a retired person). 

Then she sent a gift that was of no interest to my child (as is often the case).  The price tag of $30.00 was left on it, from a small, local store.  Other Grandma sends each kid a $20 check which thrills my kids to no end as they know what they’d like to buy at Target, etc.

I have had my child write thank you notes to several relatives and I was just thinking about reminding him about a letter to her to be done with it and I just got this email today:

“I have not heard back from you in 5 weeks since you wrote about the sleepover party.  I called on the actual birthday night and spoke to (other child) and asked for you to call me.  I do not know if my birthday gift was received.”

She had called on that actual b-day, about an hour before I even got home from work and b-day boy wasn’t home yet either.

So…since this woman cannot take a hint, do I:

A).  Reply back on email that my child rec’d the gift.
B).  Ask child to send thank you note in mail (I’m torn between manners vs. encouraging correspondence with the kids. Although I should not care about manners any more with her).
C).  Take this opportunity to point out that we won’t have any normal correspondence with each other since there has been no response from her to my email from last Nov., no apologies for things she has said.
D).  Other?

I’m stressed.  I’m busy at work.  I can’t deal with her.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Five Months After "Letting Go" She Called

It has been just about a year since I emailed my NM and finally told her what I thought of her and included that due to her behavior and what she says to the kids in front of me and behind me that they would not be visiting her.  And then she replied that "she was letting go".  That is when I Googled around and found websites about NPD and realized that was her.

For once I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my in-laws without feeling obligated to call her that day and hear how mad she was that we choose to see them for T-giving...for once on Christmas in our own home I did not have to deal with her offers of flying me and the kids (she likes to pretend I do not have a DH of 22 years) to visit, or hear her moan about how everywhere she goes she sees families together for the holidays.  I believe that we sent a card from the kids.

I had stated in that email that she could call the kids on the home phone (which is virtually their phone since DH and I never answer that phone).  So every couple of weeks she would call and then for one of their birthdays she sent a card and a check.  Her calls to them consist of her not really knowing what they are into, and they know that, and in addition she tells the oldest (age 13) "You can call me too; how would it make you feel if I never called you?"  The kids fill me in on how they feel about her calls, what she says, etc. and to that comment my Eldest told me, "I felt like saying that I wouldn't mind that at all!"

I had talked to the kids about how my NM and I were not speaking as I told my NM how I felt and it didn't go well, and in addition I am really not that interested after her behavior two summers ago (at which they were present).  I'm pretty open with them about things, although they are not aware of the truly evil things my NM has said to her mom--their 88 yr old great grandma (GM).  I have also not told them many other reasons as to why I cannot trust her or like her.  I don't need to because they have seen and heard things for themselves.  I will perhaps tell them more in the future.

My NM lives in one state in the winter months and has a mountain home in another state for the other 7 months.  This past Spring when she went back to the summer home, she pretty much passes near where we live.  It has been this way the kids' entire lives--she may stop by just for lunch but prefers to try to have us visit her at her place.  When the kids were little we lived in a smaller house and her excuse is that we didn't have a guest room for her.  (what we had was easily converted into a guest room--we had an office room!)  The nutjob even wrote a letter addressed to my Oldest when he was 6 yrs old about how "Grandma doesn't stay to visit because there is no guestroom for her".  The poor kid was so puzzled.  Of course we read the letter first, but he saw that we had a letter so we did show him.  I did tell her that that was not appropriate and very oddball.  Several years ago we moved to a much larger home and she stops by for lunch even less so I had confirmation that the small house excuse was just an excuse.

This past April I had heard from my GM that my NM was back at her summer home.  One night one of the kids handed me the phone and said that my NM wanted to talk to me.  WTF?  I was caught off guard.  I am not good at speaking on the fly to her.  She says, "I'd like to make arrangements to have the kids visit me for a week this summer.  They are old enough now and I would like to spend time with them while I am still young enough and able to.  We would have so much fun".  So there I am, not believing this and I told her that nothing for me had changed since we last emailed, and that the kids do not want to.  And she tells me that I could come too but the deal is that she and they may want to do something that I wouldn't want to do (she has tried to tell the boys that they'd have more fun without me).  Then she told me to think about it and let her know and I wimped out for not speaking clearly--I was in shock from hearing from her.

My DH is great at knowing just the words to say and without ever reading about NPD things like "we" do, he zero'd right in on saying to me, "What has she done to show she is working on anything or apologized for anything?"  It is so hard for me to deal with her.  My life is so swamped as it is.  I chose to not put in the time or energy.  I just ignored her again.  I figured she could read my email from last Nov. again.  And I ignored her and did not email her.